ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥
Shiv Shiv Kartey Jo Nur Dhiavey
Corrupted Clergy, Corrupted Spiritualties.
Karminder Singh, PhD (Boston).
This Shabd is found on page 874 of the SGGS ji.
First, the CONTEXT.
The systematic corruption of spirituality by the clergy is a phenomenon that cuts across all major spiritual thought systems. Within the parameters of traditional Indian spiritualties, the clergy-created corruption can be seen to have taken place along three basic lines.
FIRST, the clergy aspired to convert spiritual philosophy into religious dogma to be led by him and for followers only. He thus created the “us versus them” separation where none existed. SECOND, the clergy created and propagated rituals that were unrelated – and oftentimes contrary to the original philosophy. In this way the clergy put itself as the custodians of these rituals. THIRD, the clergy adulterated the original spiritual philosophy by replacing it with false, unsubstantiated, cooked up and self-serving mythological narratives that were oftentimes derogatory to the founders of the original philosophies.
The end result is a mockery of the original spirituality and its founders. The outcome is a “religion” that is totally divorced from the original spirituality.
The objective of the clergy is fivefold. One, to put itself in the epi-centre of the corrupted and adulterated religious dogma. Two, to exercise control over the adherents of the spiritual seekers mostly through fake narratives of fear and reward in the clergy-concocted afterlife. Three, to make a living off the misled and confused followers largely though the performance of complex rituals. Four to become the upholders of the corrupted spirituality. And Five, to place themselves as agents of the clergy-concocted “gods” – “gods” who were corruptible and subservient to the clergy.
Gurbani offers a stinging critique of the clergy-initiated corruption with an equally robust rebuke of the clergy in question. The bhagats of the SGGS are particularly strident in taking on the clergy (the Pundit, Brahmin, Bippar) in exposing their misdeeds.
Readers of Gurbani will note that the reprimand and telling-off is for the clergy, and the clergy created dogma, narratives and ritual – and NOT the philosophy per se. Any discourse on the original philosophies is conducted on a different plane altogether.
Guru Nanak and Guru Arjun – in selecting and including these shabds of bhagats within the SGGS respectively, did so on three primary grounds. FIRST, there is clear truth in the bhagats’ critique. SECOND, the Gurus agreed with the critique – adding their own where necessary. THIRD, the critique against the clergy was in line with a basic principle of Sikhi in that Sikhi rejects the need for clergy. Our Gurus did not want Sikhi to be corrupted by clergy, even if they called themselves “Sikh clergy.”
The following Shabd of Bhagat Namdev ji on page 874 of the SGGS is illustrative of the bhagat’s critique of the clergy’s blatant corruption.
ਗੋਂਡ ॥ ਭੈਰਉ ਭੂਤ ਸੀਤਲਾ ਧਾਵੈ ॥ ਖਰ ਬਾਹਨੁ ਉਹੁ ਛਾਰੁ ਉਡਾਵੈ ॥ ੧ ॥
Gaond. Bhairon Bhoot Seetla Dhavey. Khar Bahun Uh Chaar Udavey.
ਹਉ ਤਉ ਏਕੁ ਰਮਈਆ ਲੈਹਉ ॥ ਆਨ ਦੇਵ ਬਦਲਾਵਨਿ ਦੈਹਉ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Haon Tao Ek Rmayea Leyhon. Aan Dev Badlavan Deihon. Rahao
ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਬਰਦ ਚਢੇ ਡਉਰੂ ਢਮਕਾਵੈ ॥ ੨ ॥
Shiv Shiv Kartey Jo Nur Dhiavey. Barad Chadey Daoroo Dhumkavey.
ਮਹਾ ਮਾਈ ਕੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਨਰ ਸੈ ਨਾਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥ ੩ ॥
Mhaan Mayuee Kee Pooja Karey. Nur Say Naar Hoey Autray.
ਤੂ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੀ ਆਦਿ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ਕਹਾ ਛਪਾਨੀ ॥ ੪ ॥
Tu Kaheat Hee Aad Bhvani. Mukat Kee Bariah Kahan Chupani.
ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਗਹੁ ਮੀਤਾ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਮਾ ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਗੀਤਾ ॥ ੫ ॥
Gurmat Ram Nam Gho Meeta. Pranvey Nama Eeo Kahey Geeta.
Given that the Rahao verse acts as the title and thus contains the core message of the Shabd, it is vital that we understand this verse first.
ਹਉ ਤਉ ਏਕੁ ਰਮਈਆ ਲੈਹਉ ॥ ਆਨ ਦੇਵ ਬਦਲਾਵਨਿ ਦੈਹਉ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Haon Tao Ek Rmayea Leyhon. Aan Dev Badlavan Deihon. Rahao.
Haon Tao – I will only. Ek – One Creator. Rmayea – Beautiful. Lehhon – Take, Accept. Aan Dev – Other objects of spirituality created by the clergy. Badlavan – In exchange, replacement. Deihon – Give up the need.
I accept only the One Beautiful Creator as my spiritual object; having given up all other clergy-created gods in exchange.
SPIRITUAL MESSAGE: My spirituality is oriented towards the realization of the One Beautiful Creator.
Verse 1: ਭੈਰਉ ਭੂਤ ਸੀਤਲਾ ਧਾਵੈ ॥ ਖਰ ਬਾਹਨੁ ਉਹੁ ਛਾਰੁ ਉਡਾਵੈ ॥ ੧ ॥ Bhairon Bhoot Seetla Dhavey. Khar Bahun Uh Chaar Udavey.
Bhairon – Clergy created myth of one of the eight demonic forms of Shivji. According to the myth Bhairon rides a black dog as his transportation mode. Bhoot – Demon. Seetla – The clergy created goddess of small pox. She rides a donkey as her mode of transportation. Dhavey – Mediates, Take a spiritual object. Khar – Donkey. Bahun – Rider. Chaar – Dust, Ash. Udavey – Kick up.
(I have given up all clergy created gods because the clergy claims that) Accepting Bhairon as one’s spiritual object makes one demonic; while accepting the donkey riding Seetla leads one to kick up dust aplenty.
(Note: Blue text denotes context from the Rahao verse.)
Verse 2. ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਬਰਦ ਚਢੇ ਡਉਰੂ ਢਮਕਾਵੈ ॥ ੨ ॥ Shiv Shiv Kartey Jo Nur Dhiavey. Barad Chadey Daoroo Dhumkavey.
Shiv Shiv Kartey- Chanting Shiv. Jo Nur – The human being; one. Dhiavey – meditating on Shiv as spiritual object. Barad – Bull. Chadey – Ride. Daoroo – Duflee Drum. Dhumkavey – Beats.
(I have also given up all clergy created gods because the clergy claims that) Chanting and meditating on Shiv as one’s spiritual object makes one take on the bull-riding and drum-beating attributes of Shiv.
(Note: Blue text denotes context from the Rahao verse.)
Verse 3. ਮਹਾ ਮਾਈ ਕੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਨਰ ਸੈ ਨਾਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥ ੩ ॥ Mhaan Mayuee Kee Pooja Karey. Nur Say Naar Hoey Autray.
Mhaan Mayuee – Female of the great one; Parbatee, Shiv’s consort, Durga. Kee Pooja Karey – Worship. Nur – Human. Naar – Female. Hoey Autray – Reincarnates into.
(I have further given up all clergy created gods because the clergy claims that) Worshiping the great female goddess causes her worshippers to reincarnate as females.
SPIRITUAL MESSAGE OF VERSE 1, 2, 3 & 4: Spirituality that is driven by any OTHER than the One Creator leads one astray.
Verse 4. ਤੂ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੀ ਆਦਿ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ਕਹਾ ਛਪਾਨੀ ॥ ੪ ॥Tu Kaheat Hee Aad Bhvani. Mukat Kee Bariah Kahan Chupani.
Tu – You, clergy. Kaheat – Claim, pronounce. Hee – also. Aad – Origin, Beginning. Bhvani – Durga. Mukat – Salvation, liberation. Kee Bariah – Opportunity, chance. Kahan – Where, why. Chupani – Remain hidden; not obtained.
O Clergy, you also claim that Durga is the original provider of spiritual liberation, but when it comes to your own liberation, why haven’t you obtained it?
SPIRITUAL MESSAGE: Spirituality that is guided by those who don’t believe their own assertions is fake.
Final Verse: ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਗਹੁ ਮੀਤਾ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਮਾ ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਗੀਤਾ ॥ ੫ ॥ Gurmat Ram Nam Gho Meeta. Pranvey Nama Eeo Kahey Geeta.
Gurmat – Guidance of the Shabd Guru, Enlightenment. Ram – the Omnipresent Creator. Nam – Godly Virtues. Gho – Hold on to, Rely on, Base upon. Meeta – O Mind. Pranvay – says. Nama – Namdev. Eeo Khey – same, similar . Geeta – Spiritual text.
O Mind, realize the omnipresent Creator by basing your spirituality on Godly virtues and by relying on the guidance of the shabd; Namdev says O Clergy, even your own spiritual text Geeta (that you have discarded) is in agreement.
SPIRITUAL MESSAGE: Spirituality that is guided by the enlightenment of the Shabd and is virtue based leads to realization of the Creator within.
- The above shabd is the sixth in a total of seven shabds that are included together by Guru Arjun ji in the section of bhagat bani of Rag Gaond. Prior to Namdev ji’s shabds there are 11 by Bhagat Kabir. Subsequent to Bhagat Namdev’s there are two composed by Bhagat Ravdas ji. The subject matter of all twenty is a critique on clergy ignorance creating dogma and revelations of the bhagats’ realization of the Creator through enlightenment of the Shabd.
- The ULTIMATE TARGET of Guru Nanak in selecting, and Guru Arjun in including these shabds in the SGGS is SIKHS as followers of the messages of Gurbani.
- The reality of the matter is that Sikhs have become victims of our own clergy in ways that go way beyond the clergy that is being critiqued by the bhagats. Our clergy (dera babas, sants, granthis, pathis, ragis, kathakars, jathedars) can be heard making claims that far exceed the ones mentioned by Bhagat Namdev ji in this shabd.
- Shiv Shiv Kartey. Sikh clergy are openly calling for Sikhs to chant our Guru’s names 10 thousand times, chant it together as a country at a particular time (8pm for example), offering clickers and rosaries for that purpose, and to do an “ardas” for 500,000 chants of Dhan Guru Nanak by next gurpurab. If our response is: “but this is different, our Guru cannot be compared to Shiv…” then we have NOT understood what Bhagat Namdev is saying.
- Maha Mayee Kee Sewa Karey – Worship the great goddess. Sikh clergy are openly advocating that Sikhs worship the great SGGS – offer expensive rumalas, chandowas, flowers, incense, money, food and items; install gold domes and marble palkees for the SGGS etc. If our response is “but this is different, our Guru cannot be compared to Maha Mayee…” then we have missed the point that Bhagat Namdev is making.
- Tu Kaheat Hai Aad Bhavani. Why haven’t you obtained it? Our clergy are asking us to do x number of sehej paths, y number of akhand paths, z number of sukhmanis, recite this and that, offer this and that, etc. to rid us from our temporal problems – diseases, financial difficulties, family and life challenges etc. We can ask our clergy: Why is it that you yourself are still stricken with all these problems, and your own medicine has not worked on you. If our response is “but this is different, our sehej paths cannot be compared to Aad Bhavani…” then we have NOT understood Bhagat Namdev’s message.
- It should be clear that this shabd is NOT about Bhairon, Shiv, Seetla, Maha Mayee, or Bhavani. It is also NOT about the followers of all of them. It is NOT for their followers. It is about the futility of chanting names, the vainness of worshipping, and the wastefulness of corrupted “spirituality”. It is also about the role of the clergy’s vested interest in wanting to perpetuate such corruption. It is finally about the need for the true seeker to stay clear of corrupted clergy and their corrupted “spiritualty.”